Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the Quality Samples Program, 18591-18594 [2015-07935]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 66 / Tuesday, April 7, 2015 / Notices E. Application Review Information Evaluation criteria. FAS will consider a number of factors when reviewing proposals, including: • Appropriateness of the activity, including the ability of the applicant to provide an experienced U.S.-based staff with knowledge and expertise to ensure adequate development, supervision, and execution of the proposed project; the entity’s willingness to contribute resources, including cash and goods and services of the U.S. industry, with greater weight given to cash contributions (for private sector proposals only); and the conditions or constraints affecting the level of U.S. exports and market share for the agricultural commodity/product (30%); • Market Impact, including the degree to which the proposed project is likely to contribute to the development, maintenance, or expansion of U.S. agricultural exports to emerging markets; and demonstration of how a proposed project will benefit a particular industry as a whole; and the quality of the project’s proposed performance measures (50%); and the • Completeness and viability of the proposal, along with past program results and evaluations, if applicable (20%). Please see 7 CFR part 1486 for additional evaluation criteria. 2. Review and Selection Process: All applications undergo a multi-phase review within FAS, by appropriate FAS field offices, and, as needed, by the private sector Advisory Committee on Emerging Markets to determine the qualifications, quality, appropriateness of projects, and reasonableness of project budgets. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES F. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an approval letter and project agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including the levels of EMP funding and cost-share contribution requirements. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: Interested parties should review the EMP regulations, which are available at the following URL address: http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/ emerging-markets-program-emp. 3. Reporting. Quarterly progress reports for all programs one year or longer in duration are required. Projects of less than one year generally require a mid-term progress report. Final VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Apr 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 performance reports are due 90 days after completion of each project. Content requirements for both types of reports are contained in the Project Agreement. Final financial reports are also due 90 days after completion of each project as attachments to the final reports. Please see 7 CFR part 1486 for additional reporting requirements. G. Federal Awarding Agency Contact(s) For additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Courier address: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Signed at Washington, DC on 1st day of April, 2015. Asif Chaudhry, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service and Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. 2015–07940 Filed 4–6–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE CODE 3410–10–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the Quality Samples Program Announcement Type: New. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.605. SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces it is inviting proposals for the 2016 Quality Samples Program (QSP). The intended effect of this notice is to solicit applications from eligible applicants for fiscal year 2016 and to set out the criteria for the award of funds under the program in October 2015. QSP is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). DATES: To be considered for funding, applications must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 8, 2015. Any applications received after this time will be considered only if funds are still available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Entities wishing to apply for funding assistance should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier address: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Information is PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18591 also available on the FAS Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/ quality-samples-program-qsp. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Funding Opportunity Description Authority: QSP is authorized under Section 5(f) of the CCC Charter Act, 15 U.S.C. 714c(f). Purpose: QSP is designed to encourage the development and expansion of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality of U.S. agricultural commodities. QSP participants will be responsible for procuring (or arranging for the procurement of) commodity samples, exporting the samples, and providing the on-site technical assistance necessary to facilitate successful use of the samples by importers. Participants that are funded under this announcement may seek reimbursement from QSP for the sample purchase price, the cost of transporting the samples domestically to the port of export, and then to the foreign port or point of entry. Transportation costs from the foreign port or point of entry to the final destination will not be eligible for reimbursement. CCC will not reimburse the costs incidental to purchasing and transporting samples, for example, inspection or documentation fees. Although providing technical assistance is required for all projects, QSP will not reimburse the costs of providing technical assistance. A QSP participant will be reimbursed after CCC reviews its reimbursement claim and determines that the claim is complete. General Scope of QSP Projects: QSP projects are the activities undertaken by a QSP participant to provide an appropriate sample of a U.S. agricultural commodity to a foreign importer, or a group of foreign importers, in a given market. The purpose of the project is to provide information to an appropriate target audience regarding the attributes, characteristics, and proper use of the U.S. commodity. A QSP project addresses a single market/commodity combination. As a general matter, QSP projects should conform to the following guidelines: • Projects should benefit the represented U.S. industry and not a specific company or brand; • Projects should develop a new market for a U.S. product, promote a new U.S. product, or promote a new use for a U.S. product, rather than promote E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1 18592 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 66 / Tuesday, April 7, 2015 / Notices the substitution of one established U.S. product for another; • Sample commodities provided under a QSP project must be in sufficient supply and available on a commercial basis; • The QSP project must either subject the commodity sample to further processing or substantial transformation in the importing country, or the sample must be used in technical seminars in the importing country designed to demonstrate to an appropriate target audience the proper preparation or use of the sample in the creation of an end product; • Samples provided in a QSP project shall not be directly used as part of a retail promotion or supplied directly to consumers. However, the end product, that is, the product resulting from further processing, substantial transformation, or a technical seminar, may be provided to end-use consumers to demonstrate to importers consumer preference for that end product; and • Samples shall be in quantities less than a typical commercial sale and limited to the amount sufficient to achieve the project goal (e.g., not more than a full commercial mill run in the destination country). • Projects should be completed within one year of CCC approval. QSP projects shall target foreign importers and audiences who: • Have not previously purchased the U.S. commodity that will be transported under QSP; • Are unfamiliar with the variety, quality attribute, or end-use characteristic of the U.S. commodity; • Have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to import, process, and market the U.S. commodity (e.g., because of improper specification, blending, formulation, sanitary, or phytosanitary issues); • Are interested in testing or demonstrating the benefits of the U.S. commodity; or • Need technical assistance in processing or using the U.S. commodity. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES B. Award Information Under this announcement, the number of projects per participant will not be limited. However, individual projects will be limited to $75,000 of QSP reimbursement. Projects comprised of technical preparation seminars, that is, projects that do not include further processing or substantial transformation, will be limited to $15,000 of QSP reimbursement as these projects require smaller samples. Financial assistance will be made available on a reimbursement basis VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Apr 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 only; cash advances will not be made available to any QSP participant. All proposals will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria contained herein and funds will be awarded on a competitive basis. Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific agreements between the applicant and CCC subject to the availability of funding. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved by FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the project. C. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: Any United States private or government entity with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. agricultural commodities may apply to the program. Government organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private organizations include non-profit trade associations, universities, agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and profitmaking entities. 2. Cost Sharing: FAS considers the applicant’s willingness to contribute resources, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third parties, when determining which proposals to approve for funding. 3. Proposals should include a justification for funding assistance from the program—an explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance. Applicants may submit more than one proposal. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Address to Request Application Package: Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit their QSP applications to FAS through the Uniform Export Strategy (UES) application Internet Web site. The UES allows applicants to submit a single consolidated and strategically coordinated proposal that incorporates requests for funding and recommendations for virtually all of the FAS marketing programs, financial assistance programs, and market access programs. The suggested UES format encourages applicants to examine the constraints or barriers to trade that they face, identify activities that would help overcome such impediments, consider the entire pool of complementary marketing tools and program resources, and establish realistic export goals. Applicants planning to use the Internet-based system must contact the PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FAS/Program Operations Division to obtain Web site access information. The Internet-based application may be found at the following URL address: https:// www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/. Although FAS highly recommends applying via the Internet-based application, as this format virtually eliminates paperwork and expedites the FAS processing and review cycle, applicants also have the option of submitting an electronic version of their application to FAS at podadmin@ fas.usda.gov. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission: To be considered for QSP, an applicant must submit to FAS information detailed in this notice. In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each entity that applies to QSP and does not qualify for an exemption under 2 CFR 25.110 must: (i) Provide a valid DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to CCC; (ii) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application or plan; and (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by CCC. Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each entity that applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the applicable reporting requirements of 2 CFR part 170 should it receive QSP funding. Incomplete applications and applications that do not otherwise conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review. Proposals should contain, at a minimum, the following: (a) Organizational information, including: • Organization’s name, address, Chief Executive Officer (or designee), Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), and DUNS number; • Type of organization; • Name, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the primary contact person; • A description of the organization and its membership; • A description of the organization’s prior export promotion experience; and • A description of the organization’s experience in implementing an appropriate trade/technical assistance component; (b) Market information, including: • An assessment of the market; E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 66 / Tuesday, April 7, 2015 / Notices • A long-term strategy in the market; and • U.S. export value/volume and market share (historic and goals) for 2009–2015; (c) Project information, including: • A brief project title; • Amount of funding requested; • A brief description of the specific market development trade constraint or opportunity to be addressed by the project, performance measures for the years 2016–2018, which will be used to measure the effectiveness of the project, a benchmark performance measure for 2014, the viability of long-term sales to this market, the goals of the project, and the expected benefits to the represented industry; • A description of the activities planned to address the constraint or opportunity, including how the sample will be used in the end-use performance trial, the attributes of the sample to be demonstrated and its end-use benefit, and details of the trade/technical servicing component (including who will provide and who will fund this component); • A sample description (i.e., commodity, quantity, quality, type, and grade), including a justification for selecting a sample with such characteristics (this justification should explain in detail why the project could not be effective with a smaller sample); • An itemized list of all estimated costs associated with the project for which reimbursement will be sought; • Beginning and end dates for the proposed project; • The importer’s role in the project regarding handling and processing the commodity sample; and • Explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance; (d) Information indicating all funding sources and amounts to be contributed by each entity that will supplement implementation of the proposed project. This may include the organization that submitted the proposal, private industry entities, host governments, foreign third parties, CCC, FAS, or other Federal agencies. Contributed resources may include cash, goods or services. 3. Submission Dates and Times: QSP funding is reviewed on a rolling basis during the fiscal year as long as remaining QSP funding is available as set forth below: • Proposals received by, but not later than, 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 8, 2015, will be considered for funding VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Apr 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 with other proposals received by that date; • Proposals not approved for funding during this review period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period only if the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in writing, and only if funding remains available; • Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 8, 2015, will be considered in the order received for funding only if funding remains available. 4. Other Submission Requirements: All Internet-based applications must be properly submitted by 5 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, June 8, 2015, in order to be considered for funding; late submissions received after the deadline will be considered only if funding remains available. All applications submitted by email must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 8, 2015, at podadmin@fas.usda.gov in order to receive the same consideration. 5. Funding Restrictions: Proposals that request more than $75,000 of CCC funding for individual projects will not be considered. Projects comprised of technical preparation seminars will be limited to $15,000 in QSP funding. CCC will not reimburse expenditures made prior to approval of a proposal or unreasonable expenditures. E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria and Review Process: Following is a description of the FAS process for reviewing applications and the criteria for allocating available QSP funds. FAS will use the following criteria in evaluating proposals: • The ability of the organization to provide an experienced staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the proposal; • The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market in which the United States is generally competitive; • The potential for expanding commercial sales in the proposed market; • The nature of the specific market constraint or opportunity involved and how well it is addressed by the proposal; • The extent to which the importer’s contribution in terms of handling and processing enhances the potential outcome of the project; • The amount of reimbursement requested and the organization’s willingness to contribute resources, including cash, goods and services of the U.S. industry, and foreign third parties; and PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18593 • How well the proposed technical assistance component assures that performance trials will effectively demonstrate the intended end-use benefit. Proposals will be evaluated by the Commodity Branch offices in the FAS’ Cooperator Programs Division. The Commodity Branches will review each proposal against the factors described above. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, Office of Trade Programs. 2. Anticipated Announcement Date: Announcements of funding decisions for QSP are anticipated during October 2015. F. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable to the project, including the levels of QSP funding, and any cost-share contribution requirements. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: The agreements will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each agreement will identify terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will reimburse certain costs of each project. Agreements will also outline the responsibilities of the participant, including, but not limited to, procurement (or arranging for procurement) of the commodity sample at a fair market price, arranging for transportation of the commodity sample within the time limit specified in the agreement (organizations should endeavor to ship commodities within 6 months of the effective date of the agreement), compliance with cargo preference requirements (shipment on United States flag vessels, as required), compliance with the Fly America Act requirements (shipment on United States air carriers, as required), timely and effective implementation of technical assistance, and submission of a written evaluation report within 90 days of expiration or termination of the agreement. QSP projects are subject to review and verification by FAS’ Compliance, Security and Emergency Planning Division. Upon request, a QSP participant shall provide to CCC the E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1 18594 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 66 / Tuesday, April 7, 2015 / Notices original documents that support the participant’s reimbursement claims. CCC may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by adequate documentation. 3. Reporting: A written evaluation report must be submitted within 90 days of the expiration or termination of each participant’s QSP agreement. Evaluation reports should address all performance measures that were presented in the proposal. G. Federal Agency Contact(s) For additional information and assistance, contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Courier address: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Signed at Washington, DC on the 1 st of April, 2015. Asif Chaudhry, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. 2015–07935 Filed 4–6–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE CODE 3410–10–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces that it is inviting proposals for the 2016 Foreign Market Development Cooperator (Cooperator) program. The intended effect of this notice is to solicit applications from eligible applicants for fiscal year 2016 and to set out criteria for the award of funds under the program in October 2015. The Cooperator program is administered by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). DATES: All applications must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 8, 2015. Applications received after this date will not be considered. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Entities wishing to apply for funding assistance should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier address: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720–4327, or by fax: (202) 720–9361, or by email: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Apr 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 uesadmin@fas.usda.gov. Information is also available on the FAS Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/ foreign-market-development-programfmd. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Funding Opportunity Description Announcement Type: New. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.600. Authority: The Cooperator program is authorized by title VII of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978, as amended. Cooperator program regulations appear at 7 CFR part 1484. Purpose: The Cooperator program is designed to create, expand, and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products through cost-share assistance. Financial assistance under the Cooperator program will be made available on a competitive basis and applications will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria contained herein and in the Cooperator program regulations. All U.S. agricultural commodities, except tobacco, are eligible for consideration. FAS allocates funds in a manner that effectively supports the strategic decision-making initiatives of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. In deciding whether a proposed project will contribute to the effective creation, expansion, or maintenance of foreign markets, FAS considers whether the applicant provides a clear, long-term agricultural trade strategy and a program effectiveness time line against which results can be measured at specific intervals using quantifiable product or country goals. FAS also considers the extent to which a proposed project targets markets with the greatest growth potential. These factors are part of the FAS resource allocation strategy to fund applicants who can demonstrate performance and address the objectives of the GPRA. B. Award Information Under the Cooperator program, and subject to the availability of funding, FAS enters into agreements with eligible nonprofit U.S. trade organizations to share the cost of certain overseas marketing and promotion activities. Funding priority is given to organizations that have the broadest possible producer representation of the commodity being promoted and that are nationwide in membership and scope. Cooperators may receive assistance only for generic activities that do not involve promotions targeted directly to consumers. The program generally operates on a reimbursement basis. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 C. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: To participate in the Cooperator program, an applicant must be a nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organization. 2. Cost Sharing: To participate in the Cooperator program, an applicant must agree to contribute resources to its proposed promotional activities. The Cooperator program is intended to supplement, not supplant, the efforts of the U.S. private sector. The contribution must be at least 50 percent of the value of resources provided by CCC for activities conducted under the project agreement. The degree of commitment of an applicant to the promotional strategies contained in its application, as represented by the agreed cost-share contributions specified therein, is considered by FAS when determining which applications will be approved for funding. Cost-share may be actual cash invested or in-kind contributions, such as professional staff time spent on design and execution of activities. The Cooperator program regulations, including sections 1484.50 and 1484.51, provide detailed discussion of eligible and ineligible cost-share contributions. 3. Other: Applications should include a justification for funding assistance from the program—an explanation as to what specifically could not be accomplished without federal funding assistance and why participating organization(s) are unlikely to carry out the project without such assistance. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Address to Request Application Package: Organizations are encouraged to submit their FMD applications to the FAS through the Unified Export Strategy (UES) application Internet Web site. The UES allows applicants to submit a single consolidated and strategically coordinated proposal that incorporates requests for funding and recommendations for virtually all of the FAS marketing programs, financial assistance programs, and market access programs. The suggested UES format encourages applicants to examine the constraints or barriers to trade faced, identify activities that would help overcome such impediments, consider the entire pool of complementary marketing tools and program resources, and establish realistic export goals. Applicants planning to use the Internet-based system must contact the FAS/Program Operations Division to obtain site access information. The Internet-based application may be found at the following URL address: https:// www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/. E:\FR\FM\07APN1.SGM 07APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 66 (Tuesday, April 7, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18591-18594]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-07935]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation


Notice of Funds Availability: Inviting Applications for the 
Quality Samples Program

    Announcement Type: New.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.605.
SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces it is 
inviting proposals for the 2016 Quality Samples Program (QSP). The 
intended effect of this notice is to solicit applications from eligible 
applicants for fiscal year 2016 and to set out the criteria for the 
award of funds under the program in October 2015. QSP is administered 
by personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

DATES: To be considered for funding, applications must be received by 5 
p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 8, 2015. Any applications received 
after this time will be considered only if funds are still available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Entities wishing to apply for funding 
assistance should contact the Program Operations Division, Office of 
Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service by courier address: Room 
6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250, or by phone: 
(202) 720-4327, or by fax: (202) 720-9361, or by email: 
podadmin@fas.usda.gov. Information is also available on the FAS Web 
site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/quality-samples-program-qsp.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Funding Opportunity Description

    Authority: QSP is authorized under Section 5(f) of the CCC Charter 
Act, 15 U.S.C. 714c(f).
    Purpose: QSP is designed to encourage the development and expansion 
of export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities by assisting U.S. 
entities in providing commodity samples to potential foreign importers 
to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the high quality 
of U.S. agricultural commodities.
    QSP participants will be responsible for procuring (or arranging 
for the procurement of) commodity samples, exporting the samples, and 
providing the on-site technical assistance necessary to facilitate 
successful use of the samples by importers. Participants that are 
funded under this announcement may seek reimbursement from QSP for the 
sample purchase price, the cost of transporting the samples 
domestically to the port of export, and then to the foreign port or 
point of entry. Transportation costs from the foreign port or point of 
entry to the final destination will not be eligible for reimbursement. 
CCC will not reimburse the costs incidental to purchasing and 
transporting samples, for example, inspection or documentation fees. 
Although providing technical assistance is required for all projects, 
QSP will not reimburse the costs of providing technical assistance. A 
QSP participant will be reimbursed after CCC reviews its reimbursement 
claim and determines that the claim is complete.
    General Scope of QSP Projects: QSP projects are the activities 
undertaken by a QSP participant to provide an appropriate sample of a 
U.S. agricultural commodity to a foreign importer, or a group of 
foreign importers, in a given market. The purpose of the project is to 
provide information to an appropriate target audience regarding the 
attributes, characteristics, and proper use of the U.S. commodity. A 
QSP project addresses a single market/commodity combination.
    As a general matter, QSP projects should conform to the following 
guidelines:
     Projects should benefit the represented U.S. industry and 
not a specific company or brand;
     Projects should develop a new market for a U.S. product, 
promote a new U.S. product, or promote a new use for a U.S. product, 
rather than promote

[[Page 18592]]

the substitution of one established U.S. product for another;
     Sample commodities provided under a QSP project must be in 
sufficient supply and available on a commercial basis;
     The QSP project must either subject the commodity sample 
to further processing or substantial transformation in the importing 
country, or the sample must be used in technical seminars in the 
importing country designed to demonstrate to an appropriate target 
audience the proper preparation or use of the sample in the creation of 
an end product;
     Samples provided in a QSP project shall not be directly 
used as part of a retail promotion or supplied directly to consumers. 
However, the end product, that is, the product resulting from further 
processing, substantial transformation, or a technical seminar, may be 
provided to end-use consumers to demonstrate to importers consumer 
preference for that end product; and
     Samples shall be in quantities less than a typical 
commercial sale and limited to the amount sufficient to achieve the 
project goal (e.g., not more than a full commercial mill run in the 
destination country).
     Projects should be completed within one year of CCC 
approval.
    QSP projects shall target foreign importers and audiences who:
     Have not previously purchased the U.S. commodity that will 
be transported under QSP;
     Are unfamiliar with the variety, quality attribute, or 
end-use characteristic of the U.S. commodity;
     Have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to import, 
process, and market the U.S. commodity (e.g., because of improper 
specification, blending, formulation, sanitary, or phytosanitary 
issues);
     Are interested in testing or demonstrating the benefits of 
the U.S. commodity; or
     Need technical assistance in processing or using the U.S. 
commodity.

B. Award Information

    Under this announcement, the number of projects per participant 
will not be limited. However, individual projects will be limited to 
$75,000 of QSP reimbursement. Projects comprised of technical 
preparation seminars, that is, projects that do not include further 
processing or substantial transformation, will be limited to $15,000 of 
QSP reimbursement as these projects require smaller samples. Financial 
assistance will be made available on a reimbursement basis only; cash 
advances will not be made available to any QSP participant.
    All proposals will be reviewed against the evaluation criteria 
contained herein and funds will be awarded on a competitive basis. 
Funding for successful proposals will be provided through specific 
agreements between the applicant and CCC subject to the availability of 
funding. These agreements will incorporate the proposal as approved by 
FAS. FAS must approve in advance any subsequent changes to the project.

C. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Any United States private or government 
entity with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. 
agricultural commodities may apply to the program. Government 
organizations consist of Federal, State, and local agencies. Private 
organizations include non-profit trade associations, universities, 
agricultural cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and profit-
making entities.
    2. Cost Sharing: FAS considers the applicant's willingness to 
contribute resources, including cash, goods, and services of the U.S. 
industry and foreign third parties, when determining which proposals to 
approve for funding.
    3. Proposals should include a justification for funding assistance 
from the program--an explanation as to what specifically could not be 
accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the 
participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the 
project without such assistance. Applicants may submit more than one 
proposal.

D. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Organizations are 
strongly encouraged to submit their QSP applications to FAS through the 
Uniform Export Strategy (UES) application Internet Web site. The UES 
allows applicants to submit a single consolidated and strategically 
coordinated proposal that incorporates requests for funding and 
recommendations for virtually all of the FAS marketing programs, 
financial assistance programs, and market access programs. The 
suggested UES format encourages applicants to examine the constraints 
or barriers to trade that they face, identify activities that would 
help overcome such impediments, consider the entire pool of 
complementary marketing tools and program resources, and establish 
realistic export goals.
    Applicants planning to use the Internet-based system must contact 
the FAS/Program Operations Division to obtain Web site access 
information. The Internet-based application may be found at the 
following URL address: https://www.fas.usda.gov/ues/webapp/.
    Although FAS highly recommends applying via the Internet-based 
application, as this format virtually eliminates paperwork and 
expedites the FAS processing and review cycle, applicants also have the 
option of submitting an electronic version of their application to FAS 
at podadmin@fas.usda.gov.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: To be considered for 
QSP, an applicant must submit to FAS information detailed in this 
notice.
    In addition, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, each entity that 
applies to QSP and does not qualify for an exemption under 2 CFR 25.110 
must:
    (i) Provide a valid DUNS number in each application or plan it 
submits to CCC;
    (ii) Be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior 
to submitting an application or plan; and
    (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current 
information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or 
an application or plan under consideration by CCC.
    Similarly, in accordance with 2 CFR part 170, each entity that 
applies to the QSP and does not qualify for an exception under 2 CFR 
170.110(b) must ensure it has the necessary processes and systems in 
place to comply with the applicable reporting requirements of 2 CFR 
part 170 should it receive QSP funding.
    Incomplete applications and applications that do not otherwise 
conform to this announcement will not be accepted for review.
    Proposals should contain, at a minimum, the following:
    (a) Organizational information, including:
     Organization's name, address, Chief Executive Officer (or 
designee), Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), and DUNS number;
     Type of organization;
     Name, telephone number, fax number, and email address of 
the primary contact person;
     A description of the organization and its membership;
     A description of the organization's prior export promotion 
experience; and
     A description of the organization's experience in 
implementing an appropriate trade/technical assistance component;
    (b) Market information, including:
     An assessment of the market;

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     A long-term strategy in the market; and
     U.S. export value/volume and market share (historic and 
goals) for 2009-2015;
    (c) Project information, including:
     A brief project title;
     Amount of funding requested;
     A brief description of the specific market development 
trade constraint or opportunity to be addressed by the project, 
performance measures for the years 2016-2018, which will be used to 
measure the effectiveness of the project, a benchmark performance 
measure for 2014, the viability of long-term sales to this market, the 
goals of the project, and the expected benefits to the represented 
industry;
     A description of the activities planned to address the 
constraint or opportunity, including how the sample will be used in the 
end-use performance trial, the attributes of the sample to be 
demonstrated and its end-use benefit, and details of the trade/
technical servicing component (including who will provide and who will 
fund this component);
     A sample description (i.e., commodity, quantity, quality, 
type, and grade), including a justification for selecting a sample with 
such characteristics (this justification should explain in detail why 
the project could not be effective with a smaller sample);
     An itemized list of all estimated costs associated with 
the project for which reimbursement will be sought;
     Beginning and end dates for the proposed project;
     The importer's role in the project regarding handling and 
processing the commodity sample; and
     Explanation as to what specifically could not be 
accomplished without Federal funding assistance and why the 
participating organization(s) would be unlikely to carry out the 
project without such assistance;
    (d) Information indicating all funding sources and amounts to be 
contributed by each entity that will supplement implementation of the 
proposed project. This may include the organization that submitted the 
proposal, private industry entities, host governments, foreign third 
parties, CCC, FAS, or other Federal agencies. Contributed resources may 
include cash, goods or services.
    3. Submission Dates and Times: QSP funding is reviewed on a rolling 
basis during the fiscal year as long as remaining QSP funding is 
available as set forth below:
     Proposals received by, but not later than, 5 p.m. Eastern 
Daylight Time, June 8, 2015, will be considered for funding with other 
proposals received by that date;
     Proposals not approved for funding during this review 
period will be reconsidered for funding after the review period only if 
the applicant specifically requests such reconsideration in writing, 
and only if funding remains available;
     Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 
June 8, 2015, will be considered in the order received for funding only 
if funding remains available.
    4. Other Submission Requirements: All Internet-based applications 
must be properly submitted by 5 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, June 8, 
2015, in order to be considered for funding; late submissions received 
after the deadline will be considered only if funding remains 
available. All applications submitted by email must be received by 5 
p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, June 8, 2015, at podadmin@fas.usda.gov in 
order to receive the same consideration.
    5. Funding Restrictions: Proposals that request more than $75,000 
of CCC funding for individual projects will not be considered. Projects 
comprised of technical preparation seminars will be limited to $15,000 
in QSP funding. CCC will not reimburse expenditures made prior to 
approval of a proposal or unreasonable expenditures.

E. Application Review Information

    1. Criteria and Review Process: Following is a description of the 
FAS process for reviewing applications and the criteria for allocating 
available QSP funds.
    FAS will use the following criteria in evaluating proposals:
     The ability of the organization to provide an experienced 
staff with the requisite technical and trade experience to execute the 
proposal;
     The extent to which the proposal is targeted to a market 
in which the United States is generally competitive;
     The potential for expanding commercial sales in the 
proposed market;
     The nature of the specific market constraint or 
opportunity involved and how well it is addressed by the proposal;
     The extent to which the importer's contribution in terms 
of handling and processing enhances the potential outcome of the 
project;
     The amount of reimbursement requested and the 
organization's willingness to contribute resources, including cash, 
goods and services of the U.S. industry, and foreign third parties; and
     How well the proposed technical assistance component 
assures that performance trials will effectively demonstrate the 
intended end-use benefit.
    Proposals will be evaluated by the Commodity Branch offices in the 
FAS' Cooperator Programs Division. The Commodity Branches will review 
each proposal against the factors described above. The purpose of this 
review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate 
funding level for each proposal based upon these factors, and submit 
proposals and funding recommendations to the Deputy Administrator, 
Office of Trade Programs.
    2. Anticipated Announcement Date: Announcements of funding 
decisions for QSP are anticipated during October 2015.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the 
final disposition of the submitted application. FAS will send an 
approval letter and agreement to each approved applicant. The approval 
letter and agreement will specify the terms and conditions applicable 
to the project, including the levels of QSP funding, and any cost-share 
contribution requirements.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: The agreements 
will incorporate the details of each project as approved by FAS. Each 
agreement will identify terms and conditions pursuant to which CCC will 
reimburse certain costs of each project. Agreements will also outline 
the responsibilities of the participant, including, but not limited to, 
procurement (or arranging for procurement) of the commodity sample at a 
fair market price, arranging for transportation of the commodity sample 
within the time limit specified in the agreement (organizations should 
endeavor to ship commodities within 6 months of the effective date of 
the agreement), compliance with cargo preference requirements (shipment 
on United States flag vessels, as required), compliance with the Fly 
America Act requirements (shipment on United States air carriers, as 
required), timely and effective implementation of technical assistance, 
and submission of a written evaluation report within 90 days of 
expiration or termination of the agreement.
    QSP projects are subject to review and verification by FAS' 
Compliance, Security and Emergency Planning Division. Upon request, a 
QSP participant shall provide to CCC the

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original documents that support the participant's reimbursement claims. 
CCC may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by 
adequate documentation.
    3. Reporting: A written evaluation report must be submitted within 
90 days of the expiration or termination of each participant's QSP 
agreement. Evaluation reports should address all performance measures 
that were presented in the proposal.

G. Federal Agency Contact(s)

    For additional information and assistance, contact the Program 
Operations Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Courier address: Room 6512, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, 
DC 20250, or by phone: (202) 720-4327, or by fax: (202) 720-9361, or by 
email: podadmin@fas.usda.gov.

    Signed at Washington, DC on the 1 st of April, 2015.
Asif Chaudhry,
Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vice President, 
Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2015-07935 Filed 4-6-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE CODE 3410-10-P